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Fire & Ice Winter Festival

January 17 @ 6:00 am - January 19 @ 5:00 pm

The Fire & Ice Winter Festival is an impressive celebration of the season, featuring a highly visual snow and ice sculpture competition, followed by a spectacular fireworks display over a frozen, high desert lake in the northeastern Nevada community of Ely.

It’s here that visitors can expect to participate in, or bask in the entertainment of celebrating winter extremes with this event’s signature ice fishing, ice golf, ice skating sledding, cross country skiing, ice bowling and even snow sculpting competitions. Bring your own sleds, skates, skis and fishing tackle, and head for Cave Lake State Park—an easy 20 minutes from downtown Ely. The lake at this Nevada State Park is situated at such a high elevation, that it just so happens to freeze solid during the winter months, and is stable for the masses to bask in the magic of a northeastern Nevada winter. 

After the daytime events come to a close, head back to town and board the Fireworks Express at the historic Nevada Northern Railway and East Ely Depot Railroad Museum. This event closer will be a memorable one to say the very least. After all, when else in your lifetime will you be able to experience fireworks detonating from a historic, early 1900s era locomotive? Yeah, nowhere else. Be sure to grab your tickets early if you want to ride, otherwise you can be part of the spectators in town where the show can be appreciated from miles around.


Kick off the 2020 Fire and Ice events in downtown Ely with a full lineup of all sorts of wintry action. For the most up to date schedule of events a locations, please dial the Ely Bristlecone Convention Center at (775) 289-3720. But bottom line? It’s safe to say Ely has an impressive lineup of events happening all over town, all day long, ranging from bowling, dart and pool tournaments, to bounce houses and face painting, karaoke, and live music. Spend the entire day bouncing around town, and cap it off with a ride on the storied Fireworks Train, where the folks at the Nevada Northern Railway truly detonate an array of fireworks from a historic, moving locomotive. 

  • 9 AM—Bristlecone Birkenbeiner Race at Ward Mountain
  • 4:30 PM—The Fireworks Train departs from Nevada Northern Railway and East Ely Depot. Be sure to get your tickets in advance by clicking HERE—this one always sells out early!
  • 6 PM—The fireworks display begins, and can be viewed from most places in downtown Ely
  • 7 PM—Bonfire at the Nevada Northern Railway. A local camp is building a life-size elk made from pallets, that will be burned in a massive bonfire at the Nevada Northern Railway
  • 7 PM—Karaoke
  • 7 PM—Billiards Tournament
  • 8:00 PM—Live music starts in Downtown Ely

Bounce house, face painting, arts activities and athletic events held throughout town, TBD—be sure to check back for updates!


Plan on making your way to Cave Lake State Park on Sunday, for a full afternoon of the activities that inspired this signature event. Best yet? Admission to Cave Lake activities is totally free!

  • 10 AM—Snow Sculptures can be viewed all day at Cave Lake State Park.
  • 10 AM—Beginners Guided Snowshoe Hike around Cave Lake.
  • 10 AM—Ice Skating Rink Opens.
  • 10 AM—Sledding Hill Opens.
  • 11 AM—Ice Horseshoes.
  • 12 PM—Ice Bowling Tournament.
  • 12 PM—Disc Golf Ice Putting Contest.
  • 5:30 PM—Wondering where the “fire” part of this even kicks into gear? At 5:30 PM, visitors at Cave Lake can plan for one amazing fireworks show. Seeing one of the area’s best annual firework displays reflecting over a frozen, high-desert lake is something you’ll want to experience in person to believe its beauty.

For more information about Fire & Ice, to get your hands on train tickets, and to plan your visit to Ely, call the Bristlecone Convention Center at (775) 289-3720 or click Visit Ely.


January 17 @ 6:00 am
January 19 @ 5:00 pm


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